Funny how you see another person’s true personality when it’s most needed. Funny how convenient that slip up came. Funny how he tried to defend himself and blame it on my paranoia. Funny how I pulled all stops to cater to him. Funny how I made myself believe in what I wanted to believe. Funny how I still tried to see the good in him, and that slip up came in at the right time. Funny how he tried to act the victim, and couldn’t see up to the very end the point of assurance. Funny how my dad, just after the first date, told me he wasn’t good for me; but I didn’t listen. Funny how every time my messages would be left unread and I’d see him post a ton, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I waited. I understood. Funny how I poured out my feelings, and all he could spew out were incoherent, irritated words. Funny how I thought he was the one all along and that we just couldn’t find the right timing. Funny how I got kilig with his posts on social media, when I mostly felt empty talking to him. Funny how this time, it was all the same. Funny how selfish people can be; how their ego and machismo can get in the way. Funny how he found it funny to send a screenshot of our conversation to his friend, only to realize that he sent it to me by mistake. I almost caved in. I almost believed he was sincere. Funny it all backfired.
I just really want flowers.
Lately, I’ve been stuck with men who think bouquets are a capitalistic way of expressing love. It’s too expensive. We can’t eat it. He’d rather spend the money on date food. I get it, but there’s something about receiving a bouquet of grandiose flowers that makes me think that I’m special.
And I’m not talking about your typical Island Rose bouquet, pre-arranged and all. I’m talking about a bouquet with meaning. I’m looking for someone who will spend time looking for tulips, lilies, carnations, and stargazers–and put them together just for me.
It’s expensive and wilts after a week, tops. Admittedly, it really is a waste of money. But isn’t that one of the many facts of love? You know it’s irrational and impractical, but you do it anyway. Because you want your significant other to feel loved; you think she’s worth spending a lot for something so useless, if only to see her eyes light up.
And I’ve yet to find someone who will think of me that way.
I’ve always been a believer in honest relationships. And that goes with faithfulness and loyalty to each other.
I just finished watching How I Met Your Mother’s latest episode, where Robin disappears and gets treated differently just because she’s wearing an engagement ring. Sure, all those perks disappeared the moment she put on that ring, but both Robin and Barney become immensely in love with each other. So much so that Robin didn’t need those guys to give her the perks, and Barney didn’t need the strip club or the one night stands.
That’s true love, I guess. When you don’t really see anybody else except that one person who means the world to you. I don’t believe this has to develop in a painfully slow way. It doesn’t need to be. It just comes, and you know it really is true. That it’s game over. That you’re tied down.
So what happens when Barney goes through a relapse? What if instead of asking Ted to proxy-fuck the young girl, he did it himself? Let’s complicate things up. What if Barney doesn’t tell Robin? And Ted wasn’t such a loose mouth but instead, was more loyal to Barney?
Robin only found out about Barney’s relapse by checking his Facebook account (or something). She confronts Barney, but he denies it flat out. Tells her that it was a long time ago, and that the conversation (and picture) was posted only now when he and his friends remembered about the incident. He goes on bombarding Robin of the fact that he loves her and only her. Would that really make up for the fact that he cheated on her through a relapse?
If what they really have for each other is true love, then that will definitely break Robin’s heart. But no matter what, she’ll stay with him, because people will make mistakes that they’ll regret. Remembering what she saw and how he denied it will always tear her apart. It won’t be easy either to let go of that in just a day. The fact will always remain that he broke her heart once, and she didn’t even give him reason to.
But I guess that’s true love. You’ll only know that it’s true love when it genuinely hurts you. And that the thought of getting revenge hurts too. True love will always be painful. You’ll accept that person for who he really is, and you’ll try to change it. You’ll always be on your toes. You’ll never be sure of who he becomes once he’s out of your sight. Yet you choose not to play the who’s-gonna-cheat-first game, because that’s how much you love him. You can’t bear to give him a reason to do it again. You’ll believe his promise, but inside it hurts. And you’ll believe in second chances, because he loves you as well.
9 months old. Or so. I didn’t really have any idea how numbers worked. Just how warm my mommy’s touch was. And how at home I felt whenever she’d rock me in her arms.
I remember being inside my crib, unable to sleep, crying.
Seconds later my mother stirs in her bed and slowly gets up. Zombie style. I see her peeking through the jumble of blankets and stuffed toys to the chubby baby in the crib. Slowly and carefully, she dismantled me from the mess, obviously struggling to make baby talk sense as she herself wakes her motor abilities up.
I am in my mommy’s arms, cradled by warmth and a lullaby, so vivid even after 20 years, to sleep.
I just realized how sheltered I have been. I’m nineteen and it’s only my first time to commute alone. How sad. Well, doing real commuting that is. Of course I’ve been commuting when I’m in Katipunan, how do you think I’ve been able to meet up with my friends or go to parties? But it was always via cabs or the train. Not too tricky. Unlike riding shuttles from the province of Laguna to Makati, which I’ve been doing for the past week. Before I could do that, I had to be ‘trained’, so to speak, by my brother to have a stern look and dress simply, so as not to attract too much attention. And stop losing my gadgets too, thinking if I put it down on the seat and forget to put it back in my bag I’ll find it exactly where I left it.
So for the past three days, I’ve been dropped off by my brother at the terminal of the shuttle that takes most working people to Ayala Avenue, Makati. It’s always brimming with workers either too sleepy to care or continuing where they left off in preparing themselves for work like putting makeup or fixing the folds of their polo. I had to blend in and stop smiling at everyone and look like a freaking tourist, so I wear my shades and look far away to avoid anyone’s eyes.
While waiting for the next shuttle, there is always this old man with two plastic bags in hand with his kakanin. The first time I encountered him, I thought he was just another one of those vendors feeding on your pity and conscience. But something about him allowed for my hard coating to crack, to expose that vulnerable part of me that my family warned me never to expose. I gave in; I pitied that lolo who had to wake up early to catch the workers in the hopes of selling his kakanin. He looked genuine; not the kind you see knocing on your car window asking for some spare change. He was actually making an effort to make a living – amidst his condition, hunched back and barely able to make it to the waiting shed to us.
The least I can do for him is to buy his kakanin. I’ve been so absorbed in my own perfect, protected world revolving around school, house, and everything comfortable. Then I look at him, and my heart crumbles. I hate it that I’m exposing this side of me, but thankful as well that in this experience I’m able to see how lucky I truly am. Truth be told, in a tray of pichi-pichi that I bought for him this morning, worth only 12pesos, I don’t think he’s earning enough to get himself by. And his family, if he has any.
Everytime I look at the pichi-pichi inside my bag, I feel a mash of emotions. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen for his trap? But then again he was genuinely respectful when he walked across the benches offering his goods. Maybe I’ll learn how to ignore the ramming I feel against my hard coating, or maybe the hard coating is there to be taken down.
Love makes the world go round, don’t you think?
But for the lovers out there, I know the world stops turning when you are with the one you love.
For the lovers-then, I know the world stops when you see the one you love with someone else.
Isn’t it ironic?
Those two contradicting situations are really responsible for keeping us on our toes. Keeping us on the lookout for that perfect moment.
It keeps us standing on top of a picket fence.
There’s something different about 2011. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something cold and distant about it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean it in a strangely good way.
Last year we spent the holidays praying that my mom would have a successful operation. December 26 and we were already at the hospital, checking in and listening to what the doctors were advising us to do after the operation. Doctor after doctor, nurse after nurse, and nun after nun visited the suite where we were checked in. It was not a laughing matter, but we found ourselves laughing with our mom as she joked around about wanting a wig beside her hospital bed the moment she was sent back to the room. As I smile at the visitors who kept coming in and wishing for my mom’s successful operation, I can’t help but think how lovely and sad at the same time it all was. I saw faces who empathized with us, and I was given three cellphones to take care of – I needed to reply to all my mom’s friends and relatives.
The day of the operation, for the first time in my entire life, I saw how vulnerable my mom is. She raised all three of us single-handedly, while my dad, who chose to live in Saudi to be a better provider, did not see us growing to who we are. My mom lay on the bed, murmuring words of prayer as the doctor slowly lowered the injection to my mom’s arms. She held my dad’s hand on the other side closer to where I sat. She smiled at each one of us, as though thanking us for being there for her. She looked at my papa last, talking to him with her eyes, as though to tell him how much she’s missed him. A year after their marriage my dad moved to Saudi, and since then they’d only see each other for a month and a half every year. The moment my dad found out that my mom had brain tumor, he set a flight to be back here to be with her. Their eyes stayed glued to each other, papa thanking mom for raising three rather difficult kids all by herself. Even as I write these lines, my emotions feel the same. I feel so ashamed for not being thankful enough.
Slowly and rather painfully I saw the medicine take effect. Mama stopped murmuring and her eyes drooped to sleep. My brother stayed inside the room, while I followed papa out to see mom as they push her bed to the operation room.
We welcomed 2010 inside the hospital, with the private nurse who took care of mommy while we watched. We weren’t able to get a bigger room so all three of us, papa, Kuya Dean and I squished ourselves into one sofa. As 2010 entered, we turned mom’s bed to the window to see the fireworks – she was always amazed at it. We all shared a takeout bucket of chicken and chips and fell asleep sitting.
[to be continued]
I wrote this one time as a goodbye letter to someone. I realized just how true it is now. I guess I shouldn’t have written this on that notebook, because now I really can’t seem to avoid his gravity.
Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.
You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your rain.
Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.
You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.
I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you’re everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me down
You’re on to me, on to me, and all over…
Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
I’ve been stuck in catch 22 for too long. I want something so bad but I have to be in a different place to have it. My mind’s going all haywire tonight. I played Tetris on Facebook and found myself losing again and again. I can’t bear it, so I kept playing until I sacrificed time for studying. But that’s not what this post’s about.
I needed to push you away because I was selfish. But I don’t need you to remind me over and over again that I am. I don’t need you to remind me that I’m a ditcher too because now that it’s all over and done with, I keep wanting it back. I can’t even bear saying the things I said to you in my mind because it hurts me too. I didn’t mean any of those. I had to keep my bitch face on so everyone will believe that I don’t need you back. Now I’m drowning in my self-inflicted unhappiness. And I regret every bit of it.
I usually know the boundary between friendship and love but with you, the boundaries seem to be blurred. Blurred with it is my place in everything else. You’re attached to things that make me happy. I can’t be happy if I am not with those things, yet I’m in too much of a mess to welcome back the feelings I have for you. I long for you to tell me that everything’s fine, that all is forgotten. But you never did.
All I seem to say from the very start is “you never did”. I long for that moment when you hold me in your arms and lift my head up and tell me, for all eternity, “I always will”.
Ironic is life. My body keeps moving but my heart is stuck at that moment when I was happy and without a care.
I can write so many for you, so many about you…
But the time has passed and you’ve chosen to move on. I can only hope that your heart is somewhere with mine where time stopped pushing our hearts, to stay in that hilltop forever.
poem by Pablo Neruda. How accurately does it express my emotions, I can’t tell for sure. But I felt my heart scream in agreement with the pain it tells.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.